Friday, April 11, 2008

National Championship Game Preview and Hobey Baker Award Announced

So let's just pretend my predictions on Sunday never happened shall we? Anyways, I'm taking a mulligan on the national championship game.
(2) Boston College vs (4) Notre Dame

In two shocking results, BC and ND advanced to the championship game by dominating the two highest seeded teams remaining in the field. Even though the Notre Dame-Michigan game went into overtime, Notre Dame physically took it to the Wolverines and showed that while Michigan was the most talented team in the field, sometimes extreme effort is enough to overcome that talent gap.

The championship game should be extremely interesting. Boston College's forwards shredded the best defense in the country on Thursday, and it's expected they will do the same to Notre Dame. Irish goalie Jordan Pearce will be a huge key in this game. He probably needs to stand on his head in order to give the Irish a chance at victory. Offensively the Irish have somehow been getting some goal scoring in the NCAA tournament, but it's hard to see them putting up too crooked of a number against the Eagles, even though their defense isn't very good. While the main focus will be on how successful Notre Dame's defense is at bottling up the BC offense, to me the more important matchup will be at the other end of the rink. If Carl Sneep, Mike Brennan, Nick Petrecki and the rest of the BC defensemen can shut down the Irish it will be a long day for Notre Dame fans, but in the end I think Ryan Thang and company will squeak out just enough to give Notre Dame a 3-2 upset win and the national championship.

Porter Wins Hobey Baker Award
As expected, Michigan's Kevin Porter is the 2008 recipient of the Hobey Baker Award, given to the best player in college hockey. Porter currently is tied for first nationally in goals with BC's Nathan Gerbe, and he finished second in points. Seen as one of the favorites the whole year, Porter locked down the award by scoring 4 goals in their NCAA Tourney opening round game against Niagara. Even moreso, Porter helped lead the young Wolverines to the #1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament and even though they were upset in the Frozen Four semifinals, Porter was a huge reason they got that far. Porter previously had been named CCHA and national player of the year by Inside College Hockey.

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